01 October 2017 / Team News


Two weeks ago there was an important 20-14 league win at Pontypool United.  The second consecutive win in the Dragons Youth “A” Division put Newbridge on the top of the league and was a good indicator for the season.  In that game, the tries were scored by Luke Shore, Joel Witcombe and Elliot Haines. Iwan Burgwin added a conversion and a penalty for a well-earned 20-14 win.

Last week the depth of this year’s Youth squad was well utilised as they travelled to Ospreys Division “B” Leaders Morriston.  The starting XV showed 14 changes from the previous week at United.  In his first outing of the season Joe Hacker opened the scoring, Morgan Thomas scored an excellent try going in unopposed from 25 metres and Ollie Howard claimed his second of the season.  Morriston came back with 2 tries of their own to make it 17-12 but Cole Jones put the nail in the coffin when he scored.  Ethan Chess in the unaccustomed role of kicker converted monster attempt from wide out and also got 1 other for a final score line of 24-12.

On the Sunday afternoon the Youth squad welcomed Pontarddulais Youth to the Welfare and a Newbridge side which contained only 1st year youth boys ran out quite comfortable winners by 26-12.  Tries were scored by Dylan Bartlett, Joel Gilbert and Ethan Williams with Robbie Turley converting 3.  

This week with Blues Division “C” Leaders Gilfach Goch withdrawing from the the Welsh Youth Cup due to confusion over which competition they had entered,  the Youth have been given a bye into the second round.  As an additional bonus the Youth took the opportunity to play an extremely tough Pontypridd Youth team.  Pontypridd were runners up in the Blues “A” Division last year and during that season downed our then first year youth team 26-7 on the Welfare.

This year our combination of 1st and 2nd year Youth were once again up against a number of older boys as Ponty proved to be our toughest opposition of the season so far.  Dragons U18 hooker Zac Hewlett was making his first appearance of the season after injury and was huge in an incredible defensive line.  He also completed a first for the Youth as everyone of the starting XV had Regional Age Grade experience. 

Ponty played the territory game excellently and were camped in the Newbridge half for long periods but the Youth defence just did not crumble.  The scoring was opened by Iwan Burgwin’s well taken penalty.  Ponty replied with one of their own before Burgwin added his second.  The Youth played the majority of the rugby and were unlucky on a number of occasions.  At 6-3 a box kick from their 10 yard line caused problems and despite heroic defence the ball squirted out for Ponty to carry over and take an 8-6 lead.

The Youth came straight back driving at a couple of lineouts to take the ball over the line and with scrumhalf Cole Jones seemingly having scored the referee disagreed only for replacement hooker Joel Gilbert to pick up and leave the ref in no doubt that he had crossed the line.  Ponty came back in the dying stages but the Youth defence withstood everything they had to offer to take the spoils 11-8.  

Next week’s Dragons “A” Division match at The Welfare sees the visit of last years “B” division winners and Gwent Cup Finalists Talywain.  They are an extremely tough and quality outfit full of last year’s Dragons 18s players.

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